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David_Roxas's blog

Twice now purportedly classified messages from the AFP have made their way into my Facebook message box.  The content of each is the same.  The first message arrived in my box June 20th but at the very top there is a date that looks like either June 13th or 18th 2017.




The second communique arrived June 27th but is dated June 25th.


The content of both messages is essentially the same but I have transcribed only the second message leaving in all grammatical errors.


1. Reference: RIS from NICA6 with Subject: Joint ISIS, Maute Group and BIFF elements to launch major attacks on 30 jun 17. 

2. Per above reference, RBIT on 30 jun 17, the joint ISIS, Maute Group, and BIFF elements will reportedly launch a major attacks in key cities nationwide targeting churches, shipping malls and other populated areas. The terrorist groups will also hijack petroleum lorry and LPG delivery trucks to be used as vehicle bombs. The suicide attacks will reportedly be carried out by foreign terrorist. 

    Relatedly, around twenty (20) members of a special Maute unit who graduated from an explosives training sometime on November 2016 have already been emplaced in their respective targets nationwide to simultaneously launch attacks during the Friday prayer or “Jumaah.” Accordingly, mosques will not be spared from the attacks. 

3. This Brigade will deploy troops in key areas to secure vitals installations particularly the oil depot’s in Bacolod City and Amlan, Negros Oriental. While the rest of the Army troops are currently conducting massive combat operations in the Island. 

4. In this regard, request the availability of our City and Municipal Police to conduct random checkpoint for at least three (3) shifting daily from 28 Jun to 03 Jul 2017. Areas to be conducted are along the national road of Negros Island Region to prompt the planned action of the terrorist groups.


All three of the signatories check out.  There is a Von Ryan T Gomez and a Jamie R Datuin and an Eliezer Losañes enlisted in the AFP. The Von Ryan Gomez who comes up in a Google search is a 1st Lieutenant and not a Captain but he is associated with Central Negros. He is both an author and a subject on this AFP wordpress blog.


A search for Lt. Col. Jaime R. Datuin brings up this Facebook post from 2014.


https://www.facebook.com/NOLCOM/posts/785330124840032



The third signatory, Eliezer Losañes, comes up in this story from Philstar and he is directly linked to the 303rd Brigade.

BACOLOD CITY , Philippines  – Local government units (LGUs) in the Negros Island Region are being urged to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in their areas in support of the anti-terrorism drive of state security agencies.  

The call for the installation of CCTV cameras was contained in a resolution approved by the regional advisory council of the Philippine National Police (PNP). 

The resolution sought the installation of CCTVs at the entry and exit points of the towns and cities as well as in areas of convergence. 

This developed after the Communist Party of the Philippines ordered its armed wing, the New People’s Army, to launch more attacks in response to the government’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.  

Col. Eliezer Losañes, chief of the Army’ 303rd Infantry Brigade, said yesterday that they have intensified their combat operations.  

Losañes assured the Negrenses that the island’s coastal villages have been secured with the help of the PNP-Maritime Command, Philippine Navy and Coast Guard.

http://www.philstar.com/nation/2017/05/29/1704484/negros-execs-urged-install-cctvs

How legitimate is the information?  Will there be large scale terror attacks nationwide on June 30th?  I don't know.  Why is this information even being leaked and why is not being leaked on a grander scale if it is indeed legitimate?  No one is reporting this information as far as I know.


It's not impossible that large scale attacks have been planned and will happen.  The government admitted that they knew in advance about the Maute Group's plane to siege Marawi.



Absolutely nothing was done with this information.  Duterte flew off to Russia to hobnob with Putin and the attacks were allowed to proceed.  We saw this same situation in Bohol where the AFP were tracking Abu Sayyaf, knew they were in Bohol, and ignored the threat.


http://philippinefails.blogspot.com/2017/04/when-will-afp-chief-eduardo-ano.html


PNP Chief Bato knew there was a threat but AFP Chief Año did not???


Duterte is on the record saying his presidency will be a bloody dictatorship and that he will declare martial law if he wants to.






With no recommendation to do so from his top security advisers Duterte declared martial law last month in Mindanao and threatened to extend it nationwide if he saw fit to do so. What's to stop him from allowing nationwide attacks to happen just so he can impose marital law nationwide? Last week he said to be prepared for ISIS retaliation and more bombings.




What's coming down the pipeline for the Philippines? Does Duterte know? Will there be nationwide terrorist attacks on June 30th? We all better hold onto our butts!


One month of martial law.  And its a success!!  Break out the beer and lechon!


http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/06/23/17/one-month-after-palace-says-martial-law-a-success

Malacañang on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao has succeeded in preventing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from establishing a base in the Philippines, even as government troops continued to battle the group’s sympathizers in Marawi City. 

“We don’t go by ratings, but we do say we actually preempted the establishment of a wilayat (Islamic State province) [in Mindanao],” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing in Davao City.

Yeah!! What do you think of that naysayers??  Martial law has been a success and soon everything will be back to normal and we won't need martial law.


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/23/1712947/despite-claims-success-govt-uncertain-martial-law-revocation

Officials, however, still could not say when the president would lift the declaration, which some sectors fear, would embolden the military to commit human rights abuses and to suppress civil liberties. 

Abella, however, did not directly answer if the government would revoke or extend military rule once it reached its two-month effectively period next month, saying the decision would depend on military advice.

Well let's just wait and see.  Only four more weeks until martial law phase one ends.  If phase two does occur will Duterte be apologetic?


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/20/1712050/duterte-apologizes-martial-law-i-did-not-have-any-choice

Didn't have any choice?  The AFP said they had everything under control. Maybe you can't really trust what the AFP says. They haven't met any self-imposed deadlines for clearing Marawi of terrorists. They have had a tank stolen.  And they don't even have proper equipment. They have to reinforce their tanks with wood to protect them from antitank RPGs!


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/907313/wood-reinforced-vehicles-foil-maute-antitank-weapons

Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, spokesperson of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said tank commanders had decided to cover armored vehicles with planks of wood for added protection against fighters belonging to the Abu Sayyaf, Maute group and their allies. 

The wood serves to disperse the impact of an antitank warhead before it hits the steel shell of an armored personnel carrier (APC) or a tank. 

“Our commanders took the initiative to innovate and ordered that all armored vehicles be reinforced with additional protection so it can withstand the antiarmor capability of the enemy,” he said.

Why doesn't the AFP have proper armour on their tanks? There is a time and place for "Pinoy innovation" and it's not the battlefield.  Why don't they have proper equipment? 


http://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/military-strategy-trumps-maute-groups-modern-warfare-—-spokesman/ar-BBD5bPX


In a report by GMA News' Emil Sumangil on "24 Oras" on Friday, soldiers used cartons and thick planks of wood against the the rocket propelled grenade (RPG) or the shoulder-fired anti-tank weapon of Maute group members. 

The military said the same improvised equipment was used during the all-out war in year 2000.

Ah, ok. It's just military strategy.  Imagine how much more successful their strategy would be if they had actual equipment and did not have to improvise the same way they have been doing for the past seventeen years! (Seventeen years and they can't get proper equipment??)


Will Australian spy planes even make a difference if they don't have good equipment on the ground?


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/23/1712907/australia-sends-spy-planes-marawi


Part of the reason martial law has been declared a success is because the terrorists have been contained and fighting has not spilled over into the surrounding areas.


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/21/1712205/biff-bandits-attack-north-cotabato-village-possibly-divert-troops

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/907938/biff-davao-is-next-duterte-marked-for-death

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/21/1712232/duterte-warns-isis-retaliation-more-bombings-mindanao

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/908096/maute-biff-terrorists-in-likely-tactical-alliance-military

Duterte is marked for death.  Davao is targeted next.  Maute and BIFF are likely working together. And the President says prepare for ISIS retaliation and more bombings in Mindanao.  If that's success I don't want to know what failure is.


https://coconuts.co/manila/features/martial-law-successful-making-bigger-mess-mindanao/

Retired police officer Rodolfo “Boogie” Mendoza, who is now the president of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence, and Terrorism Research, doesn’t see any end soon to the conflict in Marawi City. 

(We haven’t seen if there would be any rapid conclusion because it’s only been a month, the campaign isn’t over yet, so the effectivity can only be measured if there’s broad support from the people of Mindanao.) 

Opposition lawmaker Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, who has asked the Supreme Court to nullify the martial law declaration in Mindanao, said military rule made things worse. 

“There is extreme misery and horrific conditions particularly in Marawi because of the extensive inordinate show of might of the military, the police authorities, which has really displaced tens of thousands of civilians not to mention destruction of private public properties and loss of lives,” he said. 

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, an administration ally who was part of a recent humanitarian mission to Mindanao, is among those who have called for a congressional investigation on the plight of the evacuees and those displaced by martial law. “There is now a grave humanitarian crisis in Marawi and Lanao del Sur,” he said. 

Mendoza said the goal of containing terrorism in the area has yet to be achieved.

“There is extreme misery and horrific conditions particularly in Marawi" so what better thing to do than have a ceasefire for the Muslim celebration of Eid'l Fitr. Give everyone a few hours of non-misery.


http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/615818/military-observes-8-hour-truce-in-marawi-city-for-eid-l-fitr/story/

Nothing lasts forever though.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/908518/8-hour-ceasefire-in-marawi-ends-with-gunfire-mortar-blasts

Back to the battlefield boys. Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.  Give 'em hell! You few, you happy few, you band of brothers—for whoever sheds his blood with you shall be your brother.

The biggest revelation last week regarding Marawi and marital law was that the government had prior knowledge of the impending attack.  SolGen Calida made the announcement and PNP Chief Bato confirmed it.


http://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/govt-had-prior-info-on-marawi-attack-bato-admits/ar-BBCBWtV?

Curiously the media has been silent on this issue.  The government admits they knew the attack was coming and no one wants to follow up on this?  Just something else for the memory hole.


We also learned last week that the USA is providing logistical support to the AFP.  Is this even a good thing?  Leni Robredo and China think so.


http://globalnation.inquirer.net/157953/robredo-china-welcome-us-military-aid-marawicaption


But not everyone sees US assistance as positive.


http://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/duterte-urged-to-fire-security-defense-chiefs-over-us-‘intervention’-in-marawi/ar-BBCxHHp?li

Militant partylist lawmakers urged President Rodrigo Duterte to sack Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon for allowing the Americans to intervene in the military operations in Marawi City without his approval. 

Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna also called for a congressional investigation into the “US meddling.” 

“This is very alarming and a shameless sellout of our sovereignty. The commander-in-chief himself does not know that his military and security officials have already asked assistance from a country that he has continually hit as a hypocrite and is only looking out for its own self-interest,” Zarate said.

Does Rep. Zarate realise that the USA has been providing logistical support in Mindanao for years?? Does he not know that Duterte asked for the USA's help back in April?




The Supreme Court has started hearings on the validity of martial law.  We learned that the AFP told Duterte that they had the situation under control.  This revelation underscores Dutrete's declaration that no one recommended martial law and that he called for it all on his own.



The AFP said three times that the situation was under control. Even twenty minutes before Duterte made his proclamation the AFP said the situation had stabilised and they were fully in control. This is only more proof that Duterte used this situation as a pretext to usher in his planned dictatorship.



No ruling yet by the Supreme Court but Duterte has vowed to withdraw all troops from Marawi if they rule there is no factual basis for martial law.


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/19/1711603/marcos-copycat-martial-law-will-not-be-marcos-spokesmen-say

Duterte has vowed to pull out military troops in Marawi City if the Supreme Court decides that his martial law declaration in Mindanao has no factual basis. None of the petitions on martial law at the Supreme Court argue that security forces should not be deployed against the Maute local terror group that controls part of the city.

The president, however, warned that he would no longer listen to anyone if Mindanao is plagued anew with violence that would require him to declare martial law for the second time.

According to the president, the next martial law he would declare could be a “copycat” of that of ousted President Ferdinand Marcos, the late dictator who placed the entire country under military rule in 1972.

What a great leader. If the Supreme Court takes away his martial law then he will take away the troops and allow the area to descend into chaos just so he can declare martial law again and this time nationwide! Martial law is not needed to engage in military operations. For decades the AFP has been fighting communists and terrorists both with martial law under Marcos and without after the EDSA Revolution. 


He would allow Mindanao to go up in flames just so he can have his dictatorship. And what about the people? This week we began to hear about the toll the situation is taking on ordinary civilians.


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/906106/philippine-war-babies-to-live-with-martial-law-legacy


Raisah Labay gently cradles her newborn, a boy who was named Martial to mark her flight from a war-torn Philippine city and his birth under newly imposed military rule. 

“I named him Martial as a sign that he was born in the time of war,” Labay, 21, told AFP while seated on the bleachers of an evacuation camp in a nearby city. 

“During martial law, our lives collapsed. Someday I want to tell him about the painful ordeal I went through: going into labour while evacuating our family and telling myself: ‘No, don’t push him out yet’.”


http://www.philstar.com/nation/2017/06/16/1710673/39-marawi-evacuees-die-illnesses



http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/06/15/17/residents-eating-boxes-desperation-builds-in-war-torn-marawi


All this horror because the government failed to act on knowledge it had of the impending attack.  All this fear because Duterte, on his own, decided to declare martial law.



And when will it end?  After 60 days?  


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/17/1710935/still-no-timeline-lifting-martial-law-mindanao


No timeline?  That's actually a good thing. Several times now the AFP have said the fighting is almost over.  Three more days.  By independence day. And now they have finally realised that they should concentrate on fighting rather than setting arbitrary deadlines.  We can be confident that martial law will end when everything is safe and secure.


Or can we?


Some people want martial law extended and for reasons that have nothing to do with terrorism.


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/906260/alvarez-wants-martial-law-extended-till-2022

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Friday said that he was open to the idea of extending martial law in Mindanao until President Duterte steps down in 2022 to fast-track development and address the Marawi crisis and other peace and security problems in the region. 

Alvarez said the nearly month-old martial rule had been well-received by majority of the more than 20 million people in the Philippine south and that critics, particularly those who were not from Mindanao, had no reason to oppose or worry about it.

“I would like to extend this up to the end of the term of the President. My grounds: To really ensure the end of this conflict in Mindanao, and to fast-track the infrastructure projects. This is for our interest, isn’t it?” he said.

“They have to respect the will of the Mindanaoans. If that’s what we wanted why should [people outside Mindanao] meddle? We want [this region] to develop,” Alvarez told reporters. 

Fast-track development and infrastructure projects?? Is martial law now to be a tool of economic development? This is Alvarez's own opinion and it is a stupid and worthless opinion.  Martial law is not a tool of economic development.  It is a tool to be used to quell rebellions and repel invasions.


But how long will this remain only Alvarez's opinion? Seeing how he rammed through the Death Penalty Bill by bullying and threatening everyone to approve it, it is highly likely that he could do the same for extending martial law.


With men like Alvarez leading the country it's no wonder the Philippines remains a third world nation. 

Ashley Madison Winters is (not the real name of) a lady I know who owns a small and seemingly profitable construction business.  Profitable because if it was not then she would have closed down by now.  Who runs an unprofitable business? And who would work for someone who can't pay them?



Money to buy a new truck but not to pay debts

A while ago a foreigner was persuaded to invest in her business.  He gave so much money and would get a slight return every month. This would go to support his fianceé while he was back in his home country preparing for her arrival.


Alas everything went sour and real fast.  Money was paid at first and then not at all. Calls and texts were made and promises of future payment agreed to but not much has come of it except frustrations and empty promises.


And that's that really. Just another cautionary tale in a land full of cautionary tales about lending money to people who simply will not repay the loan. Reminds me so much of Goodfellas.





This is nothing new though.  In 1720 Gaspar de San Agustín wrote a letter detailing many of the characteristics of Filipinos. Even 300 years ago he knew to never lend a Filipino anything, especially money.

9. First, they are remarkable for their ingratitude; and although ingratitude is an innate vice in all people, through the corruption of original sin in our vitiated nature, it is not corrected in them by the understanding, and they lack magnanimity. Therefore, it is all one to do a good turn to an Indian, and to prepare oneself to receive the blow of his ingratitude. Consequently, if one lend them money, they do not pay it; but instead they run away from the father. Hence there is ground for scruples in regard to lending money to them; for that is a benefit from which evil must result, as they absent themselves and do not come to mass. 

So long as they receive, they kiss the hands of him who gives, and humble themselves with promises. But when it comes time to pay, they will beg for time (for they are beggars, and not givers); and they will utter tedious and complaining words, and the time is spent in vain. Even though one can pay, he can be got to do so only with great difficulty. 

10. If they borrow anything that is not money, they will never return it until it is requested; and, as an excuse for not having returned it; they say that they have not been asked for it.  

Gaspar de San Augustín letter on the Filipinos

A funny thing happened while riding the jeepeny...


First of all the driver had to get gas.  Only the gas tank isn't a huge metal tank underneath the carriage, it's a plastic container inside the cab!



Definitely makes siphoning a bit more difficult.  


Not every jeepeney has a gas tank inside the cab and thank goodness because some jeepney drivers enjoy having a smoke while they work.




I guess he can't see the "NO SMOKING" sign to his right.






Along the way the driver picked up quite a lot of passengers.




The jeepeney is never full.  You can always squeeze in one more person. Even if that one person has to hang on outside the jeepney.





Can you imagine hanging on outside the jeepeney and being forced to inhale the thick exhaust?




That's going to blacken your lungs and give you cancer. So why a smoking ban but no thick black exhaust ban? No wonder people wear face masks when riding the jeepeny.




Well folks, that's all for this edition of........Tales From the Jeep!

Week three of marital law started off with another pep talk by Commander-in-Chief Duterte encouraging the AFP to not be afraid to do its job.


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/06/1707466/dont-be-afraid-do-your-jobs-troops-told-amid-challenges-martial-law

And what an inspiring talk it must have been because first the AFP found the money:


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/903002/p79-m-worth-of-checks-cash-found-by-ph-marines-in-maute-lair


 Then they found the patriarch:

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/903350/arrest-of-maute-patriarch-significant-to-suppress-future-terror-acts-palace


Then they found the matriarch:

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/904117/mother-of-maute-brothers-arrested-in-lanao-del-sur


So the AFP has the Matue group on the run.  But who gave them 79 million pesos in checks and cash?  Who armed them? Justice Secretary Aguirre thinks there is a vast conspiracy headed by the likes of Senators Bam Aquino and Antonio Trillanes along with other opposition leaders to destabilise the government. The theory goes that the Yellow party is arming and funding the Muslim terrorists and using them to throw the country into chaos and discredit Duterte.


http://www.philstar.com:8080/headlines/2017/06/09/1708329/after-photo-blunder-aguirre-orders-probe-destabilization-plot


Duterte assured the nation once again that declaring martial law was not meant to prolong his stay in power.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/09/1708484/duterte-critics-martial-law-not-meant-prolong-my-stay


Is anybody reassured by his reassurances?  He said he would declare martial law.  Then he said he wouldn't do it. Then he did it.  Surely he won't prematurely end the declaration of martial law before Marawi has been reclaimed. But when will the AFP finally retake Marawi?


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/09/1708325/end-marawi-siege-eyed-independence-day-maute-further-weaken


A bit premature. How about the AFP just focus on the fight and forget about arbitrary deadlines? The enemy is deadly and they do not have a timetable for victory.  They will fight to the last man. It's what they have been ordered to do by the leader of ISIS himself, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/12/1709209/leader-ordered-marawi-siege-rody

“We had known all along the buildup here in Marawi. That is why if you were tracking my statements in public, (what I said) was, ‘Do not force my hand into it.’ Because there were already terroristic acts… the victims were innocent men and women and children,” Duterte said. 

Duterte claimed that the drug problem was used to divert the government’s attention away from the terrorists. 

“Sabi ko, nilululong mga tao natin sa droga. Dito sa Mindanao, ’yung Maute, simpleng pangkaraniwang negosyante. ’Yun pala, sige sila produce ng shabu para magkaroon ng problema ang gobyerno at ma-divert ating attention (They are trying to make drug addicts out of our people. In Mindanao, we thought that the Mautes were just simple businessmen. It turned out, they were producing shabu, so the government can have a problem and be distracted),” he said. 

“So, habulin natin ang drugs, pero ’di natin alam na what was fueling, ang nagbibigay ng gasolina sa terrorism ay ang droga (So, let us chase drugs but we did not know, what was fueling terrorism is drugs).”

So the government knew about the terrorist problem in Marawi but it turns out that ISIS was manufacturing shabu to addict the people so the government would wage a war on drugs and get distracted from the ISIS problem which the government knew was already there but repeatedly did nothing about??


Are we really supposed to believe such patent nonsense??  Especially when the government now claims to have known that a siege on Marawi was being planned at least a week before it happened!!??


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/904802/solgen-govt-had-advance-info-on-marawi-siege

As early as May 18, the government already received information that the local terrorist group Maute is planning to raze Marawi City, hoist the ISIS flag and declare Marawi as an Islamic territory.

What else is the government lying about?  What else are they hiding from the public?


http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/06/10/us-special-forces-assist-in-ending-siege-in-philippines.html


http://globalnation.inquirer.net/157871/duterte-not-know-us-help-marawi-conflict-beforehand


Are we really supposed to believe that Duterte did not know the USA is helping out in the fight against terrorism?  He said back in April that the USA should help fight terrorism!  http://philippinefails.blogspot.com/2017/04/duterte-says-hello-america.html


What is going on in Mindanao and what is happening in the halls of Malacañang Palace?  Statecraft and stagecraft on an unprecedented level that Filipinos are not used to and which has easily led them to believe anything Duterte tells them.

What's up with Filipinos wearing flip-flops or slippers on the job site?  It's just not safe at all.  








These are all mundane everyday examples of disregarding safety on the job site in the Philippines.  But the guy below really takes the cake in terms of stupidity and being unsafe.





So they decided to demolish a building and they have an excavator digging up the rubble and depositing it in a truck.  




On top of the truck is this guy. I guess his job is to make sure all the rubble is evenly sorted so the excavator can deposit the maximum amount. But what is he wearing?  Shorts and a t-shirt. No hard hat.  No pants.  No gloves.  No long-sleeved shirt.  No eye protection.  And......



No boots!  He is wearing slippers! Does he not realise he could step on a sharp rock or piece of metal or some other piece of rubble and puncture his foot?  


How is he even allowed on the site dressed like that?


This guy is a tragedy just waiting to happen.  At any moment the excavator could drop a load and the rubble fall right on top of him rendering instant death or serious injury. This is not like in the above pictures where the worker is in a relatively safe spot.  This is a demolition zone.  If you look carefully at the first picture you will see a "Men At Work" sign acknowledging this is a construction site and you will see a man walking around towards the far right.


Who is he?  The foreman?  He is not dressed right either.  He's not wearing a hardhat and it looks like he's not wearing steel-toe boots.


To be completely honest this is not always how it is.  There are several construction sites around town right now where the workers are dressed appropriately in hard hats, boots, eye protection, and all the rest.  I think the difference is that those sites are high profile projects where the city is making a huge investment and therefore there are a lot of eyes watching.


These workers are wearing the appropriate PPE


But those sites are the exception and not the rule.  The rule is "get it done no matter what." Workers dressed inappropriately for the job is too common a sight. The Philippines needs an office like OSHA to make sure working conditions are safe.


Oh wait, they already have an OSHA office.  


http://www.oshc.dole.gov.ph

The problem, like many problems in the Philippines, is enforcement.  No one enforces the laws.


And that puts everyone at risk.

It's been a whole week since Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao. 

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/23/1703088/duterte-declares-martial-law-mindanao


So how's it working out?  Let's take a look at a few of the highlights.


Someone has to take charge of the whole affair so Duterte appointed AFP Chief Eduardo Año to be in charge of martial law.

http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/24/17/ao-named-martial-law-administrator

This is the same guy who completely dismissed the terror threat in Bohol in April despite the AFP tracking the movements of Abu Sayyaf and knowing full well there was a terror threat. Even the US Embassy and PNP Chief Bato recognised the threat. Several soldiers died and the community was needlessly terrorised all because Año refused to recognise the very real and present danger posed by Abu Sayyaf.


Martial law means hard duty for the troops.  24/7 vigilance as they fight the terrorists and keep the people safe.  What better way to rally the troops then to have Duterte himself give a pep talk?


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/philippines-president-rodrigo-duterte-martial-law-rape-soldiers-joke-a7758751.html


So does Duterte want the troops to keep the people safe or does he not care if the troops become the terrorists?


Speaking of terrorists, they are all over the country!  Groups in the north, south, east, and west.  NPA, MILF, MNLF, Abu Sayyaf, and who knows who else.  They could be anywhere and strike at anytime. That's why Duterte just might extend martial law over the entire nation.


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/24/1703192/duterte-martial-law-could-expand-cover-entire-country


The country is sorely divided over martial law.  Some say no.  Some say yes.  Some are already tired of martial law and desire much more drastic measures.



What?  I mean it's only been a week.  Better cool your jets and hold onto your horses because we are just getting started.  It's definitely too early to speak about the end of martial law let alone a revolutionary government.  When will marital law end?  When the PNP and AFP say the threat is over and Duterte rescinds the order.



http://www.rappler.com/nation/171240-philippines-duterte-only-afp-pnp-end-martial-law


What about the Congress and the Supreme Court? The constitution gives them a say in reviewing the necessity of martial law.


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/29/1704646/duterte-wont-listen-congress-sc-martial-law


Well I guess that throws this infographic, which assures the reader that the Congress and Supreme Court are still in operation during martial law and have oversight to approve or revoke the order, right into the garbage bin.





See the comparison between Marcos and today?  Martial law back then was tough and despotic. Today it will be softer and safer with strong constitutional provisions and safeguards in place to prevent autocracy and despotism. It will be a kinder and more gentle martial law.


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/24/1703143/mindanao-martial-law-be-marcos-says-duterte


Well so much for that.  But at least we know Duterte is well informed and has declared martial law because he knows there is a grave threat and he wants to keep the people safe. It was awful that terrorists beheaded a police chief.


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/26/1703813/police-chief-duterte-claimed-was-beheaded-marawi-siege-says-hes-safe


As far as anyone knows martial law will last 60 days.  Maybe longer.  Maybe shorter.  What shenanigans will the next two months bring?  With the onset of the rainy season things are bound to get messy real soon.

Probably the only good thing to emerge from martial law under Marcos was the filming of Apocalypse Now. 




Apocalypse Now is one of the greatest films to emerge from the New Hollywood movement which gave the world Spielberg, Scorsese, Lucas, and Coppola. Filmed entirely on location in the Philippines the film charts a journey into madness and concludes with a violently nihilistic spectacle.


And it would not have been possible without the hundreds of Filipino extras Coppola hired to play the Montanagard Indians loyal to Colonel Kurtz.

In the script, Kurtz's band of renegade soldiers has trained a tribe of local Montagnard Indians to be a fighting team. They live in huts by the temple. Rather than dress up Filipino extras everyday, Francis asked Eva, a production assistant, to go to a northern province where the rice terraces are and recruit a real tribe of primitive people to come live on the set and be in the scenes. I hear she is trying to make a contract with a group of 250 Ifugao Indians.

Being on strict budget, and in fact running notoriously way over budget, this cost saving measure to hire an entire tribe of local Indians ended up having an unexpected and astonishing influence on the final scenes and on shaping the ending with which Coppla was having so much trouble.

Coppola and his entire crew were indeed bent on making Apocalypse Now appear as close to "authentic" as possible. Dead bodies strewn on the set were cadavers, purchased from hospitals and medical schools. Much time and effort went into preparing sets, explosions, and even training of the extras. The first week they were in Pagsanjan, the Ifugao were given an orientation. They were shown the costumes and how to wear them, how to handle the guns. They were given an overview of their part in the story. Jerry recalls that they were told, "You are the people of Marlon Brando. He is like your god in the mountains. Sheen is your enemy."

The first month they were there, Benjamin participated in training the people "to play the military." They were taught how to handle M14s and armalites, and some carbine pistols. They used camouflage uniforms. "It was more than full time work because we issue the guns early in the morning, then training all day, then we have to account for all the guns and parts in the night. Because there were NPA in the area before and they were worried that some guns and parts might get stolen."

This simulated village also took on Ifugao ritual life. The 'extras' village' was given sacrificial animals that would have normally cost the Ifugao a lot; this was part of their agreement with the production company. In one instance, they asked for a carabao for ritual slaughter. In Eleanor Coppola's Hearts of Darkness, the documentary film on the making of Apocalypse Now, it is this Ifugao request for a carabao for the ritual slaughter that provides Coppola his creative solution for the final scene.  

Up to this point, Coppola, the genius filmmaker, arrives as it were up the river into his own hour of darkness. Ill and beset by cost overruns on his production budget, he had also run out of creative juice—having no idea what to do for the final scene. As he plotted on how to stage the death of Kurtz, his wife called him to see the Ifugao ritual slaughter and he became inspired. His genius as filmmaker lies in the images he incorporates—images that he actually took straight out of Ifugao ritual. 

So, on screen, the Ifugao hack apart a carabao. All the Ifugao we interviewed insist that this scene wasn't in the script. "That came from us!" Many audiences flinch. Maybe they don't want to think about the origins of meat? Or is it the apparent savagery of the ritual? These are superficial readings and westernized audiences don't see that there is much more to this than meets the eye!

After Coppola first witnessed the carabao ritual slaughter, he tried to shoot every ritual that the Ifugao performed. 

http://www.oovrag.com/essays/essay2004a-3.shtml


The ending of Apocalypse Now incorporated the rituals of the Ifuago people which in turn infused the production with the requisite sense of primitivism, magic, and ritual confluent with two of the primary influences of the film, The Golden Bough and the apocalyptic and mystical poetry of T.S. Eliot.


Many hours of footage were shot but the final product only ran 2.5 hours.  The Redux version runs an hour longer.  But there is a third version of that runs for 5 hours, the workprint.  It is difficult to obtain but rewarding to watch and it contains many of the scenes of Ifuago ritual which ended up on the cutting room floor. 


The video below is a clip from the workprint.  The video is bad, the audio horrible, but its sill very watchable.  Just remember what you see in this clip is not necessarily acting.  It is part of a real ritual incorporated into the film.  This is the Philippines as it was before the arrival of the Spanish and as it is even now deep in the mountains of Luzon.



Marital law has been declared in Mindanao.  This after several months of Duterte waffling back and forth on the issue.  So what happens next?


I think this may be a test case for the entire nation. I know deep in his heart Duterte wants to declare martial law and I know more than a few Filipinos want him to do it. They would rather have an autocrat than an oligarchy.


Below I will share an article I wrote back in March about Duterte's waffling stance on martial law.


A spectre is haunting the Philippines - the spectre of martial law. The history of all recent Philippine history is the history of dictatorship.  


http://www.gov.ph/featured/declaration-of-martial-law/

Fast forward to 2015 and witness the ascendancy of Rodrigo Duterte.  As mayor of Davao he had already built a reputation as a strongman, a take-no-prisoners kind of guy who would tolerate not the slightest infraction of the law. Davao, they said, was the safest city in the Philippines. This reputation would thrust him into the national spotlight and eventually win him the Presidency. He has not been silent on his opinions of how the country should be run and what it will take to get it back into shape. The spectre of martial law haunts even him.


http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/158810-understanding-duterte-martial-law-remarks


http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/03/10/1679682/duterte-warns-martial-law

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/883051/duterte-says-martial-law-could-end-drug-terror-problem



The President disdains to conceal his views and aims. He openly declares that his ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing political conditions. Yet something is holding him back from going all the way. 


President Duterte is a man at war with himself.  Deep inside of him is a desire to save his beloved Philippines from drugs and terrorists and foreign influence and everything else he sees as a threat to the divine right of Philippines to exist and sovereignly determine it's destiny. Pitted against that desire is the strong temptation to declare martial law as the one surefire way to accomplish these goals and save the nation.


So will he or won't he?


Listen to the voice inside his head striving to break down that barrier. It says:

"Let the drug pushers and terrorists tremble at a declaration of martial law.  The Philippines and Filipinos have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.                                        Filipinos of all provinces, unite!"

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